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Global 5G tie-ups on horizon as tech spreads

Ma Si
Updated: Sep 01,2021 09:50 AM    China Daily

Global collaboration in 5G is inevitable as countries quicken the rollout of the superfast wireless technologies, officials and experts said at the World 5G Convention, which kicked off in Beijing on Aug 31.

Li Meng, vice-minister of science and technology, said the world is seeing a new upsurge in research and development activities in advanced 5G technologies. In China, 5G has become a key part of "new infrastructure", and is being increasingly used in transportation, logistics, energy, medical and other fields to advance digital transformation.

Open cooperation in science and technology is a major trend, and China will accord importance to scientific and technological innovation from a global perspective, Li said.

As of mid-July, China had built 916,000 5G base stations, accounting for 70 percent of the world's total. The number of 5G connections has exceeded 365 million, accounting for 80 percent of the world's total, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

China unveiled a three-year plan in July, which aims to nurture 560 million 5G mobile subscribers by the end of 2023, and grow the penetration rate of the fast wireless technology among big industrial enterprises to 35 percent by then.

The twin goals reflect China's vigorous promotion of the comprehensive and coordinated development of 5G and its efforts to further widen the use of 5G in order to empower a wide range of industries.

Jiang Xiaojuan, head of the school of public policy and management at Tsinghua University, said the rapid development of 5G and related technologies will support the era of the internet of things. And only open source can boost the development of the 5G industry in the future.

"Open source" is industry parlance to describe things like software, technologies or anything else that people, enterprises, consumers or end-users can modify and share because its design, code or formula is publicly accessible.

Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, said 5G is likely to help generate a total global economic output of $13 trillion from 2020 to 2035.

Information technology like 5G is a catalyst for the integration of real and virtual economies, and it can help match financial capital with the needs of production and promote industrial upgrades, Yang said.

Che Haiping, senior vice-president of Huawei Technologies Co, said 5G should inspire industry digitalization, which should not be limited to the vision of individual companies in the industry but be based on collaborative transformation of multiple partners in the industry, all working with a mindset of "team competition".

With the large-scale commercial deployment of 5G networks, 5G applications have entered a period of iterative development. Although challenges like ecosystem construction and business models need to be addressed, the direction of innovation is becoming gradually clearer, experts said.

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